Journal writing is a way to actively engaged in your own learning and have the opportunity to clarify and reflect upon your thinking. Writing a personal journal gives you an opportunity to reflect on what you are learning and experiencing as a student and is a useful way to document how you feel about it in the moment. You can use the writings to reflect on your personal values, goals, and ideals and to summarize ideas, experiences, and opinions before and after classes. These journals are very also a way to be able to look back on these experiences over time and see how you have changed and developed.
There is strong support that this is an effective approach to improving your learning and writing skills as well as increase your ability to take control of your learning. Malcolm Knowles (1975) introduced the idea of personal reflection through activities such as self-assessment and proactive reading of materials. Another educational theorist, Christensen (1981), describes how a diary can be used as a learning tool for adults. Brookfield (1987, 1995) gives a number of ways that critically reflective writing can be used through tools such as autobiography, critical incident analysis, and seeing ourselves as others see us. You can use these tools in a variety of ways, starting with personal journalling.
Spend 30 minutes to an hour doing this journal writing each week. Submit your journal to your designated faculty contact.
Remember to record the topic and date of your journal on the Tutor Self-Evaluation form. You are required to submit a minimum of four journals for your level three requirements. Multiple journals will not be accepted near the end of a term because this goes against the purpose of the regular reflection we want you to do about your tutoring. So, the point is that you need to do this expected work bi-weekly.
Reflective Journal Topics
You are required to do one journal each week beginning in your third week of the new semester. The topics below are optional; they are suggested to give you some ideas about what to write about.
- What are the most important things you’ve learned about tutoring so far and how did you learn them?
- What are some questions you’d like your trainer to answer?
- Describe a tutoring session that you did this week. What went well? What could you have done better?
- Compare your two TECII results, what have you done that have made changes from the first to the second one?
- Describe a complex tutoring situation that you ran into while tutoring. What did you do?
- Describe a tutoring instance where the tutee needed supplemental materials. What did you develop or draw on?
- Reflect on the personal changes that you have gone through from Level One to Level Three and how you have become a more effective tutor.
- What could you do in your responses to encourage tutees to be more independent and less dependent on you?